Did you know there are over 8,000 craft beer brewers in the US? The beer scene is bigger than ever, and it has never been easier to get great brewing ingredients. But do you know how to turn your hobby into a business?
Setting up can be done relatively cheaply, but being a success needs hard work. Read on as we discuss how to set up a microbrewery.
Setting up a microbrewery needs a budget, but you don’t have to spend the earth. It all depends on how big you want the operation to be. It also does not require you to quit your main job, as you can set up a smaller nano-brewery.
The basic equipment needed will be commercial brew kettles, casks, the cost of kitting out your premises, and the premises itself. You can start with as little as a 2.5 bbl plant to keep costs low.
When you want to know how to set up a microbrewery, a business plan is your roadmap. Even if you don’t think you will be asking for funding or finance, then it still keeps you focused.
Follow the structure you would for any standard business plan. Start with a company overview, a product, and a market analysis, followed by a competitive analysis. You then need a section explaining the product lines, sales, and marketing, a management overview, then financials.
A strong market analysis tactic is key if you are moving brewing from a hobby to a business. The reason for this is that craft beer is bigger than ever, but with that rise in popularity has come to a wide range of small breweries. Essentially, you are one of many.
While brewers tend to be a friendly bunch, you still need to convince people to buy your product over others. Start by checking how many pubs in the local area will be willing to stock your beer. You may even have to consider opening your own taproom, which will vastly increase the setup costs.
When you create your business plan, try to think about the long-term vision. Is your micro-brewing business going to be a strictly local affair? Or do you want to go national and create a huge brand with major drink company involvement?
Without cash flow, your brewery is going to go bust. This is why you need to price accordingly. Don’t sell yourself short to increase brand awareness and get your beer out in the early days.
Make sure you also keep your eye on the incoming money. Don’t let bars and breweries run up long lines of credit. You will need it for more ingredients and brews to keep the business ticking over.
In summary, plan your microbrewery well! It can be tempting to concentrate wholly on the product. However, a business is a whole new dimension that requires other skills.
If you enjoyed our article, we have many more to help. From finance to marketing, we can help get your new venture off the ground in the coming year!